Sensitive Application Warning System at the USPTO
Within the post
SAWS-marked patents must be approved by anywhere from three to nine people and can be delayed for years. There is no official channel to notify an applicant once her patent is placed in the system, and the Patent Office has denied requests to divulge what applications are on the SAWS list.
A comment within the post
“If it’s a startup trying to get traction against an established player, they may not get funding because they don’t get the patent in place. It favors the entrenched incumbent in that space over the person with perhaps breakthrough technology.”
One commenter was skeptical:
What a #$%$ article. I worked at the USPTO. SAWS was no secret. We were supposed to forward applications there whenever we cam across one on our docket that was outlandish, but hard to reject. This was in effort to prevent further embarrassment from issued patents on "Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich", "Method of Asking a Girl Out", "Method of Swinging on a Swing Set", etc. The policy is to allow if you cant reject, but when a lay person doesn't know what the heck he is doing when writing claims, they can be garbage yet difficult to find prior art on. Keep wearing tin foil hats....